Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wild Parsnip...I was just saying...

In a previous post I talked about safety and proper dress for foraging.

So now I'm here to talk to you about the effects of wild parsnip and sun exposure on skin.
Specifically on the face.

Let me preface this by saying I was at work on a very hot day.
I was dressed properly (hat, gloves and long sleeved shirt)
and I know better.
Sadly, it still happened.
I wiped my face with my wild parsnip soaked shirt.

At first I felt an odd stinging sensation on my face and neck.
Kinda like when you spray bug spray directly in your face.
After rolling around on fiberglass.

3 hours later my face was very flushed and becoming puffy.
(Regular flush for my right side...abnormal flush on the left)

The area around my wrist 
(where I touched my wrist to take the other glove off)
started to blister. was the only place to blister.

Two days later (and after regular intervals of Benadryl oral medication), 
I woke up and my eye was almost closed.
My face had become numb and my forearms were on fire.

Ok.  It was at this point that I acknowledged I am not Wonder Woman
and went directly to the clinic.

By the time I had been seen by the doctor, gawked and by nurses and
ogled by the pharmacy staff...I felt like I had leprosy.

But by then, I had I was past caring.

Even a seasoned forager can succumb to the horrible effects of poisoning by plant.

I have had several bouts of poison ivy.
Mostly while clearing out our property.

I can honestly say this type of reaction is WAY worse.
I think this reaction was worse because by now...the plants are in full flower.
I have been hand weeding these suckers at work for the past two and a half months.
No adverse reaction.
Or perhaps it was because I had a weak moment.
And forgot my shirt was coated in wild parsnip juices.

Either way...I'm on the mend.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Cattail on the Cob!

Now is the perfect time to harvest cattail blossoms.
The shot below shows the blossom's male and female parts looking pretty much the same.
Once the male part fertilizes the female part...the cattail takes the familiar hotdog shape.
(I wouldn't eat them at that point...too fluffy)

At any rate, you take the outer petals off of the green section.
Then par boil them in shallow water.
We tossed them in garlic and herb butter!

Served with my homemade pulled pork and our green onions from the garden.
Toasted and melted with marble cheese from Wilton on rye bread 
and a side of sweet potato fries and chipotle mayo.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Safety and Foraging

I recently heard about a young boy who went into the woods with friends.
It was a beautiful weekend...
He ran around, digging up boys do...
As boys SHOULD!
But the lesson he learned that day he will not soon forget.
Wild parsnip can and will burn and blister your flesh...
and they won't wait until they are in bloom to do so.
(it's when the plant's juices come into contact with sunlight and your skin)

Sure there is a veritable grocery store waiting to be discovered in the woods.
But there are just as many plants in the woods that will harm you if provoked.

So it prompted me to write this post about foraging safety.


First thing I always tell folks is DRESS PROPERLY.
I'm not talking about the latest in Mossy Oak camouflaged gear.

-long sleeved shirt (protects the arms)
-long pants (protects the legs)
-sturdy shoes/boots (protects the ankles and feet)
-gloves (for safe handling of all plants)
-bug hat/jacket (for your sanity, not coolness)

VERY IMPORTANT:  If you are going to be in an area known for ticks...
tuck your pants into your socks.

And a walking stick...very important...


Some handy items to bring along.
They aren't all necessary...but certainly handy!
You'll probably want to bring a backpack or a jacket with big pockets,
just in case...

-camera (for identifying without destroying)
-baggies (for safe transport of goodies, without cross contamination)
-cell phone (with GPS and compass for your safety)
 (in our area there is loads of bush fencing leftover from previous settlers...
we've snagged our pants more than once)
-wild plants identifying book (not required but handy)
-a friend or two (because foraging is better with friends! also safety in numbers)
-map of the area (if possible...mark landmarks on the map)

If you are still a little nervous about foraging on your own....bring along an experienced forager.

(Did I mention my services are available for just such an occasion?)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Top 5 Reasons to Start Foraging NOW!

Why on earth would you eat the weeds in your yard?
Let me tell ya!

Health Benefits

There are some so-called 'weeds' that boast a higher nutritional content than kale, chard and spinach
Talk about your super foods!!!
Some 'weeds' also help aid in fighting allergies, healing wounds, boosting immune system functions, naturally!


Before food became industrialized, we were farmers.
Before we were farmers, we were hunter/gatherers.
We were nomads.
We survived off of the land and ate her bounty.
Nature gave us sustenance.
It's in our genes.
Right in our DNA.

100 Mile Challenge

Trying to reduce our carbon footprint, we adopted the 100 mile challenge.
But we're we did the 100 kilometer challenge.
But we went one step further.
Now we are trying out the 100 meter challenge!
Talk about a huge reduction in carbon emissions!!!
We walk in our yard and gather food.


The sight of food recalls (and their increased frequency) disturbs me to no end.
Our food production system is breaking down in an effort to over feed the nation.
Now the hot topic of "Organic" emerges.
What could be more organic that food from the forest or fields?
Nature gave us this food...and it hasn't been modified, treated, processed or sprayed.
What could be more natural than that?


Who can argue with free?
End of discussion.


When you eat wild food something comes over you.
You'll want to tell the whole world about it.
You'll be shouting from the rooftops.

Now you know why I started my business I EAT WEEDS.
I want to share my enthusiasm with everyone!!!

Friday, February 6, 2015

I EAT WEEDS...ask me how you can too!

Hello, my name is Lisa and I eat weeds.

Now that we got that out of the way....

I'd like to welcome you to the world of foraging in South Frontenac, Ontario!

I offer:
- foraging tours of my own backyard.
-foraging tours of YOUR yard.
-cooking classes (based on seasonal availability)
-herbal first aid

I can also be scheduled for speaking engagements for groups who want to learn more about:
- edible wild foods.
- why foraging is important.
- how foraging can keep you in touch with your natural environment.
- foraging safety.

Contact me:

613 374 3768

My husband eating cattail-on-the-cob